Posted: 13 December 2019

Headteacher’s Letter 13th December 2019

As I write this, I do not know the outcome of the General Election – indeed, by the time you read this we still might not know, or the leader of our country for the next five years may well already have been installed in 10 Downing Street. Whilst I will not espouse any particular political viewpoint publicly, it is clear to me that this election is a watershed moment for our country, and the changes that we are likely to see over the next five years will mean that the future world for which we are preparing our young people  will look very different indeed. Nevertheless, we have seen a country riven by division and opposition in recent years, the very antithesis of what we seek to be as a school. I am extraordinarily proud of the diversity and difference that we welcome in our school, and we are very much enriched by it. I know that we are not all friends, all of the time, but I like to think that Prospect is generally a harmonious and united place to be, whatever disagreements are going on with the politicians beyond our school gates.

Electioneering aside, it has been another busy week at Prospect. On Tuesday evening, we held an information session for parents and students in Year 11; it’s very close to the time when we will be saying “your GCSE exams are this year”, and they will be surprised, as they are every year, by just how quickly the last few weeks will go. We hope the information was useful – if you were unable to attend, all the materials from the presentation can be found on our new website https://www.prospect.reading.sch.uk/year-11/. The Year 11 students return to us in January straight into mock exams – it is always a balance between using the holidays productively for revision and having a proper break – but I think the sacrifice of a bit of down time will be worth it in the end. We are
investing heavily in ensuring that our Year 11 students are getting the right interventions in the last terms of their compulsory education – tutoring in Maths and English, The Joshua Academy, The Brilliant Club, Ufton Court to name just a few, but we are very clear that this is also a partnership between school, parents and students, and we very much appreciate your support.

Enormous thanks to Ms Gallivan, our Careers Advisor, for organising our superb careers event on Thursday evening. It is often said that we are educating young people for jobs that are not yet even invented, such is the pace of change and the emergence and development of new technologies. We welcomed a huge range of employers, apprenticeship providers, further and higher education institutions as well as our very own Sixth Form. It really is encouraging to see so many young people so engaged and switched on about their future. Our full Sixth Form evening will be on Tuesday 25 February. Once our Year 11 have their mock exam results, they will be in a much better position to be making decisions about their next steps, but I really think that our Sixth Form offer for September offers something for everyone.

I am absolutely delighted to announce that we have been awarded the status of Stonewall School Champions. Stonewall is a national charity and education foundation committed to advancing LGBT rights – their ethos of ‘acceptance without exception’ is something that chimes very well with our values at Prospect, and I am extremely proud that our commitment to being an inclusive
and tolerant school has been recognised in this way. I’d like to reiterate what I have said previously – students who bully others, for whatever reason, can expect the most serious of sanctions, and they put their own place within our school community in jeopardy.

Finally, I think I can finally mention Christmas – one of my (many) favourite things about Prospect is the generosity and commitment to charitable causes by our students, and Christmas Jumper Day was no exception. Raising money for our four house charities, Daisy’s Dream, Launchpad Reading, Berkshire Women’s Aid and Guide Dogs, Christmas jumpers have come out in force – thank
goodness this really is only once a year!

A reminder that term will be finishing at 11.45am next Friday – who knows what the new decade is going to bring?

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